Foible for fashion and history
A feast for nostalgic fashionistas are two sights in Lisbon. Especially if, like me, you love historic frock and fancy accessories of aristocracy.
MUDE, the Museum for Design and Fashion in the centre of the capital and the Costume Museum, called Museu Nacional del Traje, did not disappoint.
The latter is a real gem but located a bit on the outskirts, in Lumiar. If you have the time to travel around Lisbon, I highly recommend it.
COSTUME MUSUEM – MUSEU NACIONAL DEL TRAJE
When buying our tickets (for 4 Euros each), we were given a sweet present on top. Three postcards picturing dolls dressed in traditional folklore garb.
The Costume Museum, more fittingly a fashion history museum, is set in a grand mansion of a Portuguese marquis from the 18th century. The family sold the residence rather recently to the state, in the 1990s.
Pretty attire, fur coats, fine examples of elaborate clothing from the Portuguese royal family, as well as accessories from different bygone eras are exhibited in the gorgeous palace-like building.
The dresses and suits stand in impressive rooms. It felt like walking through a dance hall where the marquess and marchioness from another century engage in a social gathering.
Probably my size but they won’t let me try.
Shoes. Absolutely my kind of footwear are those boots. I might have just caught onto mum’s infatuation with shoes. Except that she buys old, infant-sized shoes… not to wear but to expand her collection of antiquated kiddies shoes. You can see what clothed fine feet of noble kiddoes at the exhibition, too.
Cute boxes to hold powders and perfumes.
Ladies, I should mention that apart from dresses and shoes, more pleasant sights await outside.
The entrance ticket of the Costume Museum includes a visit to the adjoining botanic garden. Well maintained it makes for a pleasant stroll and place to think about beauty and fashion ideals.
Nature isn’t always perfect but close.
Here are some of my favourites.
And the obligatory poser pic.
Tip: Walk all the way through the garden, to the Theatre Museum and exit (t)here!
Location: Museu Nacional del Traje, Largo Júlio Castilho, Lisboa. Get off at Lumiar Metro Station and walk for about 700 meters or take the 703 bus, which stops on the little road between the entrance to the Museu do Traje and the Museu do Teatro.
MUDE – MUSEU DO DESIGN E DA MODA
Location: Rua Augusta 24, Lisboa.
At the Museu do Design e da Moda, photography is not allowed but the entrance is free.
For now it is only a very small exhibition, solely covering the ground floor, with selected items and dresses throughout the 20th century. It looked like MUDE is going to expand sometime soon.
There are humorous and well written descriptions of the main historic events, trends and icons from the fashion, music and architecture industries of the last century. Popular songs played at the exhibited areas enhance time specific moods and underline political movements.
The building is interestingly located in a former bank and part of the fun is to inspect the vaults, lined with endless safe deposit boxes. Make sure you don’t miss the basement!
It is a sight I won’t forget because this was the place where we stumbled upon a sweet memory.
Passing the massive safe doors, we were able to decipher the magic word: Chubb. We immediately recognised the name of this traditional lock manufacturer from Britain.
It just so happened, that when we renovated our humble wardrobe-closet in our former apartment in Cologne, an antique door frame was purchased. It was a very old mahogany frame, which The One turned into a mirror/closet door. The frame was special in that it featured a pretty wooden knob and unique metal lock which, when turned, would open the door and snap back on its own. A historic but fully functional Chubb lock from the 19th century.
We were so thrilled by the discovery that we wrote to the company in England. They still do exist. Talking about British tradition.
Anyway, it turns out that our lock with serial no. 1821859 was made in October 1893, possibly on the13th. We were further informed that during this time, all Chubb locks were manufactured at the Glengall Road Factory in London!
And so, in Lisbon, ten years after we had discovered Chubb, here it was again. The circle of history.
So far I am very happy with how it goes.